Articles by " Adam"
7 Jan
2013

Twelfth Night!

So. Here's the deal about Twelfth Night. When it was instituted, back in the day, convention dictated that a day started at sundown the preceding day. In much the same way and for much the same reason as the Jewish Shabbat starts on Friday evening, Twelfth night traditionally was the night of January 5th, i.e., the night before the Twelfth Day of Christmas (yes, like from the song.)

However, modern practice celebrates Twelfth Night as the night of Epiphany, that is, the night of January 6th.

Here's the rub, though.  Christmas is December 25th, so if you count twelve nights from there, the night of January 5th is the "twelfth night of Christmas."  Unless, of course, Christmas eve counts as the first night of Christmas, which maybe it should, if we're doing the whole evening before thing.

In short, this is a confusing day.

confused-baby

This is my confused face.

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3 Jan
2013

More Tolkien Celebration!

One of our favorite authors. Good ol' Professor Tolkien.

I'm sure you all remember how great Tolkien week was.  So great, you guys.

This week is much less important.  It's just a week.  However, today is Tolkien's birthday.  As it seems with all British writers of the former half of the 20th century, Tolkien led an incredibly fascinating life and I recommend that you look into it in a serious way.

Over his long life, Tolkien's works included famous novels in high fantasy and much less famous but widely regarded works of literary criticism and translations of several important literary works into English.  Tolkien's translation of the Middle English story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight which he worked on with E.V. Gordon was an academic standard for several decades.

Tolkien's life also included an epic romance.  (Again, surprisingly common in famous authors.)  Tolkien met his future wife, Edith, in 1908 at the age of 16.  At one point, he was forbidden from seeing her until he was 21 because she was Protestant (I love romances where they overcome religious differences!) but on his twenty-first birthday he wrote her a letter in which he proposed marriage.  They got married even though she'd already agreed to marry someone else.  I'm telling you.  Epic romance.  They were married more than fifty years until Edith died in 1971.

That's about enough of a history lesson, I think.  I'm just saying, Tolkien's birth and life are worth celebrating even now.  Also, I'm just really into Tolkien.  So maybe that's it.  Either way.

Drink a toast to J.R.R. today.

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31 Dec
2012

Kards Unlimited Calendar of Events: January 2013!

January! The first month of the year! The month when it all begins! Like November and December, January is pretty dominated by one huge holiday. Unlike those other two, though, January's big day is in the beginning of the month. New Year's Day is the big moment in January; after that the whole month is just cuddling and trying to stay awake.

Or is it? Click READ MORE to find out what other exciting things are happening in the first 31 days of 2013

Read more >>

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21 Nov
2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Needless to say, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Because duh. I don't know if you guys know this about me, but my family is pretty serious about food. Like, we have 14 people over (this year. Sometimes more.) and we have about a dish per person. Not to mention desserts. Six different options. Because why not? Pecan pie, Cranberry-apple pie, Chocolate Cheesecake, Pumpkin pie (duh), Apple Crisp, and Cheesecake Brownies.

For real, though. It's hard to beat turkey and wine. Also turnips.

It's hard to get serious about Thanksgiving without sounding like a total sap, so with regard to the genuine, emotional aspect of the holiday, I'll just say that it's important to appreciate all one has in life on this and every day.  I think the really important part of Thanksgiving for most people is tradition. More than any other day, the events of Thanksgiving almost always have a preordained quality. We go to a certain place, we see specific people, usually the same people every year, we eat special foods. Thanksgiving reminds us that no matter what happens over the course of the year, there's a home base; a place to go and remember the simple joys of life. Good food, loving company, and a sense of home.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody. Hope it's a great one.

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17 Nov
2012

Homemade Bread Day!

Today is Homemade Bread Day. Otherwise known as revel in yeast day. In essence, the best holiday in the world, because homemade yeast breads are literally the tastiest thing you'll ever consume.

Everyone in my family bakes. My dad worked as a baker part-time when I was born. Store-bought pies are a curse word in my house. Cake mix is anathema. Cookie dough in a tube is like something out of a bad dream. And we. Love. Bread. A lot. So much.

Homemade Bread Day is just in time to practice for Hanukkah. Challah!

I could literally talk for pages about how homemade bread makes me happy and is the best thing in the world and how many bread recipes I love and bake all the time. I won't, though. Because I don't think you'd profit by it. Also because I don't want to. I'll just leave you with one thought about bread. Bread is one of the oldest cooked foods known to man. There's evidence of people baking bread over 30,000 years ago. Just saying, bread's doing something right. Bake some bread. For real.

This might be helpful.

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15 Nov
2012

I Love to Write Day

There are a lot of ways to love something.  Conceptually, platonically, physically, romantically, ideally, et cetera.  All of them apply to my relationship with writing.  In the main, I love the physical act of writing.  There are not many things more pleasurable than the feel of a good fountain pen on fine paper.  And I know what you dirty-minded folks are thinking right now and yes, that is better, but nevertheless, the physical pleasures of writing are not to be ignored.

I also love writing in a conceptual sense.  I love the idea of putting one's thoughts on a page.  Baring one's soul, to be melodramatic, and having someone else read it and be satisfied in some deep psychological way.  I imagine most of you read my blog posts and are emotionally fortified.  The romantic love of writing is very much tied to that feeling.  There's something very old fashioned (in the good way) about sharing the written word.

The very fact that "I love to write day" exists is evidence of the stranglehold the written word has on our collective psyche.  As much as technology advances, as much as we marginalize the importance of written correspondence and even books, there's still some ineffable draw to the feel of heavy paper, the widely touted smell of an old book, the reverence we feel toward classic literature.

Obviously, a card store like ours is a place where love of writing, in all forms and senses, is encouraged.  Sending or giving a handwritten card is not yet obsolete and we revel in that. If you don't think about it often, consider today how much writing means to you.  You might be surprised by what occurs to you.

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9 Nov
2012

Another Awesome Person’s birthday!

So. Obviously we're hugely into good books at KU. One of our favorite authors is Neil Gaiman. Because he's amazing. Among contemporary sci-fi/fantasy writers, he has no equal. Gaiman was able to read at the age of 4 and his childhood favorites include Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia. Needless to say, Gaiman's literary pedigree leaves little to be desired.

Gaiman's own works generally rely on a charming conversational style of narration; his books almost read themselves to you. My personal favorite is Stardust, and American Gods, and Anansi Boys, and Coraline (you get the idea), but all of his books (that I've read) are excellent. I would definitely recommend picking one (all) of them up next time you come to the store.

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16 Oct
2012

KU Celebrates Boss’s Day!

So you know how we're always talking about fake holidays and how we love them at KU? Boss's Day isn't one of those. Boss's Day is completely, 100% real. It was started in 1958 by Patricia Haroski of Illinois. Her boss was her dad. Apparently Father's Day wasn't enough. But that kind of explains why Boss's Day is to Secretary's Day as Father's Day is to Mother's Day. (Did you like that SAT-style analogy? Yeah, I thought it was pretty sweet.)

I have a lot of bosses here at KU. Like a lot. I'm pretty new, so mostly everyone is the boss of me from time to time. If I worked somewhere different, I would probably hate that. I don't know if you guys have gleaned this about me from my blog entries, but I'm a bit of a know-it-all. In a different work environment, I would very likely not be excited about Boss's day even a little bit. Fortunately, my bosses are excellent humans of whom I'm very fond. So I'm going to take the opportunity of this very very real and not pretend at all holiday to say that I appreciate my bosses. If this weren't a card store, I'd probably even get them a card. Since it is a card store, though, I feel like that would be redundant. And/or superfluous. And/or obsequious. I'm trying to think of another good word to add here. I got nothing.

Come get your boss a card. For real. A good boss is not something to take for granted.

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